Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

North Korea nuclear deal: Pompeo sees 'progress' after talks

North Korea nuclear deal: Pompeo sees 'progress' after talks

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to members of the media following two days of meetings with Kim Yong Chol, a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, before boarding his plane at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 7, 2018, to travel to Japan.

However, the North said the outcome of the talks was "very concerning" as it had led to a risky phase which might rattle the country's "willingness for denuclearisation that had been firm".

Pompeo also said that there would be a meeting next week about the repatriation of remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War.

Pompeo had struck a different tone, telling reporters as he left that the talks with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol had been "productive".

"We now have a meeting set up for July 12 - it could move by one day or two - where there will be discussions between the folks responsible for the repatriation of remains", he said.

Following the highly anticipated June 12 summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, the US President wrote on Twitter that "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea".

Pompeo reiterated that Trump was "committed to a brighter future for North Korea".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pictured returning to a meeting with North Korea's Kim Yong Chol (not pictured).

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It was uncertain whether Pompeo would meet with Kim Jong Un as he did on his previous trips before heading later in the day for Tokyo.

Mr Pompeo said he "slept just fine".

Some officials in the State and Defense Departments and inU.S. intelligence agencies are anxious that Trump has put himself at a disadvantage by overstating the results of the Singapore summit. Additionally, Kim does not appear to have returned the troop remains that Trump said the US already "got".

New dates for the India talks are yet to be nailed down, although Washington is said to the have indicated they could happen in September, in New Delhi or New York/Washington.

Mr Kim has promised to work towards denuclearisation, but details on how this will be achieved remain thin. Mr Kim ended Mr Pompeo's visit on a positive note, telling the top United States diplomat just before he boarded his plane, "We will produce an outcome, results".

"We had anticipated the USA side would come with a constructive idea, thinking we would take something in return", the North Korean spokesperson said. "We were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures", an unnamed spokesperson of the North's foreign ministry said in a statement published by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The spokesman, apparently rejecting the USA demand, reiterated Pyongyang's call for a "phased" and "synchronous" approach, saying that it would be the fastest way to denuclearize. "Our expectation is exactly what the president and Kim Jong Un jointly agreed to in Singapore, and that is the denuclearisation of North Korea".

But Trump has repeatedly suggested he can get things done with North Korea (and many other fronts) by the force of his personality and his unorthodox approach, which in this instance, reportedly included sending a gift to Kim with Pompeo - a CD of Elton John's song "Rocket Man".

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